Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

6 Tips To Stay Productive in the Workplace

Productivity is one of the most critical things in a workplace. When employees are productive, it enhances the quality of a company’s products and services and creates a well-oiled workflow, among other benefits.

You can stay productive in your workplace by implementing the tips below, but first, let’s briefly cover the current state of workplace productivity.

The State of Workplace Productivity 

According to workplace productivity statistics compiled by Zippia, “The average employee is productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes a day. That’s only 31% of the average 8-hour workday.” It’s alarming that employees struggle to be productive for at least half the day.

In addition, many factors contribute to a lack of productivity in the workplace. Burnt-out employees, for example, are showing up to work with less than their best. That is if they’re showing up at all. Unhappiness is leaking from underappreciated employees. Repetitive work is also contributing to a decline in productivity. Ultimately, the state of workplace productivity needs significant improvement.

How Employees Can Motivate Themselves 

First and foremost, employees are in charge of their productivity in the workplace. Even if you don’t get ideal support from the leadership suite, you can still motivate yourself as an employee and bring your best to work daily. The following three tips can help ensure this happens. 

Set goals

Motivation goes out the window when work gets repetitive and becomes less meaningful. Setting goals can help make your work more enticing, significant, and challenging. Goals also bring more innovation and growth into your role, increasing your motivation even more. 

Make it a point to set a few goals you want to accomplish each work day. They can be extensive, like completing a project well before its deadline. Or, smaller goals like putting together an intentional outfit for work each morning can also activate the reward system in your brain. You can also tap into color psychology by selecting outfits with colors like red, yellow, and orange to help optimize your mood for productivity. 

Write down your various and keep them next to you in an agenda or on a notepad. Use eye-grabbing colors and fun office supplies so you remain encouraged and push yourself until you clock out.

Celebrate all wins 

Unfortunately, employees don’t always get the recognition they deserve from their managers and peers. That lack of recognition can lead to workers feeling underappreciated and overworked. It can also suck the motivation and enthusiasm for work right out of you.

Even if your managers and coworkers don’t honor you, you can still offer it to yourself. Celebrate all wins, whether getting to work on time or completing a massive project. You could even reward yourself with a good meal at lunch or a personal day. Also make sure to use your paid time off (PTO). 

If you have completed a particularly taxing project, it’s a good time to make use of that PTO for a personal trip. Simultaneously, you will be enriching your mind through travel — combatting stress, boosting mental wellness, and learning new things through diverse cultures and scenery. This mental break from work can be the extra boost you need to come back refreshed and more productive than ever.

Ask for more responsibility

As mentioned above, work can get repetitive and mundane. Staying motivated under these circumstances is highly unlikely. Asking for more responsibility can give you a more diverse workload and challenge you. 

Ask your manager if there is anything you can take off their plate or the plates of your coworkers. Be sure that any added responsibilities are exciting for you and don’t take away from your primary duties. Continuously challenge yourself so that you remain passionate about work each day.

How Employers Can Keep Their Workers Productive and Happy 

As much as it’s the employee’s responsibility to stay engaged and productive in their roles, employers must also be accountable for their workers’ productivity and happiness. Here are three tips employers can implement to ensure employees are effective and satisfied in the workplace. 

Be intentional about office design and decor

The right work environment can be conducive to employee wellness. The right design and decor can incite creativity, focus, and collaboration, all of which are essential for productivity. Employers can inspire productivity with an intentional design and decor for the office space. 

For example, a minimalist design can streamline processes and keep employees focused on what matters. A rooftop space for fresh air and lots of windows for natural light can boost mood and productivity. Indoor plants can also reduce stress and improve mental stamina. How employers design and decorate the office can be influential in keeping employees productive. 

Focus on health and wellness 

Employees struggling with physical, mental, and emotional health challenges cannot give their best effort at work. They’re too busy trying to manage their symptoms and hide them from their coworkers and managers. 

Instead of neglecting physical and mental health, employers should focus on supporting both. They should also normalize discussing previously stigmatized mental and emotional hurdles in the workplace.

Employers should consider offering health and wellness resources like:

  • Wellness weeks;
  • Flexible schedules;
  • Fitness and nutrition aids;
  • Regular mental health days;
  • Mindfulness and meditation rooms;
  • Extended lunches and additional breaks;
  • Free or discounted therapy and counseling.

When employers focus on health and wellness, it decreases the chance that employees feel they’re in a high-stress role that they can’t cope with. This can ensure their employees’ holistic health is top-tier. And that, in turn, inspires high levels of productivity and engagement.  

Build a positive workplace culture 

According to recent workplace culture statistics, “Only 28% of executives understand their company’s culture.” Leaders may understand the importance of company culture, but most don’t grasp their company’s culture, let alone immerse themselves in it.

When company leaders aren’t familiar with their own workplace culture, they can’t offer it as a safe, supportive space for their employees. So, it’s essential for an employer first to understand the ins and outs of their company culture and how to relay it to their employees. 

Then, they can work on making it more positive and productive for their workers. This could look like: 

  • Giving more direct praise;
  • Checking in with employees regularly;
  • Welcoming and implementing employee feedback;
  • Building personal relationships with employees; 
  • Offering personal and professional development opportunities. 

As challenging as it can be to facilitate productivity in the workplace, it’s essential to accept the challenge. Staying productive in the workplace is on the shoulders of employees and employers. The tips above can get each started ensuring productivity and happiness are the core of the workplace.

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